MEAN TIME - The Barracudas (Lemon)
ENDEAVOUR TO PERSERVERE - The Barracudas (Lemon)
Okay, I’m down at Mojo Music in Sydney and I’m hunting through the racks. I’m trying to hunt down “Edie” by the Adult Net and, instead, I find these two discs just sitting there. They haven’t been displayed on the wall as exciting new releases. They’ve just been dropped in the racks. This crime cannot stand. I’m off to the counter.
“Frank! Why the fuck didn’t you tell me these came in.”
Frank should know better than to toy with me. I have told him that I’ve been hanging out for these discs like Lou on the corner of Lexington and 125th. Years ago they had been released, if you could call it that, on the Closer label. The distribution was so poor that I hadn’t even managed to get hold of copies at the time... and I was a fan. I knew the songs from live performances and only finally managed to get hold of versions on them on the “Garbage Dump Tapes” semi bootleg. I wanted these discs badly.
I’d been hanging out for this shit and Frank had hidden them in the god damn corner. No more. It is time for respect to be given. You come here and tell me you love rock and roll? Prove it. Get down to a shop and buy these discs now. If they haven’t got them in stock, get someone to order them. If someone behind the counter finds that concept difficult, there’s this thing called the internet.
But why the fuss? If you’ve heard “Drop Out with the Barracudas”, you’d find it hard to believe a band could make a follow up album with a tenth of the budget and still expect it to live up to that kind of quality. I can’t believe I’m saying this but “Mean Time” trumps “Drop Out”. Well, if you add Jim Dickson (New Christs, Passengers, Radio Birdman, Survivors etc) and Chris Wilson (Flaming Groovies) to your line-up, you’re not going to turn in a stinker. Great song writing. Great playing. Great cover of “I ain’t no Miracle Worker”. I could give you that dreary track by track hysteria that usually passes for an album review but, instead, I’ll just give it to you straight. The weakest song on the album is the Wilson helmed “Be my Friend Again”. On anyone else’s album it would be your top pick.
“Endeavour to Persevere” boasts better production values but doesn’t quite live up to the band’s previous offerings. There’s a tug between jangly melodies on top of a raucous, punky bottom end. There are places where it sounds like genius and other places where it sounds like an unresolved argument in the studio. Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t a bad album though. Let’s put it this way, if you’ve got a band this is still a peak you’ll find it pretty damn hard to scale. There’s more forgotten here than most bands will ever learn.
Classics. No further correspondence will be entered into. - Bob Short
- Mean Time
1/2 - Endeavour To Perservere
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